Hockingstuart Balwyn sales consultant Helen Yan was one of five people to make this year’s Top 100 Agents ranking despite not having a dedicated PA in 2014.
The Melbourne agent sold $113.6 million of real estate last year thanks to a system that combined high-touch personal service with set routines and long hours.
Ms Yan told Real Estate Business that many of her clients are Chinese investors who require considerable hand-holding, because they don’t speak English or understand the country.
She said she provides them with complimentary services such as electricity connections to their homes and helping them find schools for their children.
All that extra work helps explain why Ms Yan has to do 15-hour days – but it also means she is less reliant on canvassing to win business.
“It’s important to have good service because I sell so many properties to overseas buyers and they will refer a lot of people to you,” she said.
Anna Chow from Richardson & Wrench Gordon, who made $87.8 million of sales in 2014, also made the Top 100 Agents ranking despite not having a full-time assistant.
She was joined by Justin Davies from Space Real Estate with $76.8 million of sales and Luke Jeffree from Century 21 Jeffree Real Estate with $73.1 million of sales.
Susan James from Space also made the Top 100 Agents ranking with $80.1 million of sales, although she did have someone helping her for 12 hours a week.
Ms James told Real Estate Business her success was due to a highly structured work routine that combined both long hours and family time.
“I’ve got three kids and I don’t have nannies or babysitters, so I am very frugal with my time because I have to be,” she said.
“I book appointments around my kids’ school. I pick them up from school, we drive around for an hour with me on the phone, then I hit the books again at pretty much eight o'clock every night.”
Mr Jeffree from Century 21 Jeffree Real Estate said ruthless time management helped him overcome the absence of an assistant.
“I'm very conscious of who I'm spending my time with and where my time can be better spent,” he said.
“A lot of structure is always put in place. I think that has to be the case, otherwise there are too many distractions in our industry.”